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Hollywood Chow-ography!

Hi all,

I just signed a lease for an apt in Hollywood (La Brea btwn Hollywood and Sunset). I would love to learn something from all of you re the eating and shopping in this neighborhood, and hopefully it will become a resource for others travelling to or through.

I saw a couple of Ralphs within a few blocks that will do for the middle of the store items like cereal and tea, jam, frozen stuff, etc. Is there a "nice" big box grocery store not too far away? Just clean and updated, carrying some higher grade cheeses, deli stuffs, and produce? Not like a Bristol Farms or anything. I shopped occasionally at WF and Gelson's back when I lived on the westside 6 yrs ago, but this is a little pricey for everyday stuff.

Please fill in my blanks for (1) bakeries (bread, rolls, breakfast pastries - not so much cake etc - is La Brea the best in this area?), (2) produce (Hollywood FM?), (3) meat and fish. I'm a strong convert to local, organic, grass fed meats and sustainable fish where I can get it (since reading all the Pollan-esque books). We have a great coop where I currently live (out of state) that has these high grade proteins, and when they start to get old, they mark them down by $1-$5, which makes it actually affordable. So, where are the good protein grocers and do they discount similarly?

Finally, what's good in this area for casual takeout (lunch/dinner)? I'm open to all cuisines (sandwich, salad, pizza, sushi, chinese, thai, indian, italian, russian). I'd love to know if there is anything in this neighborhood like Bay Cities italian deli (Santa Monica). Or other local market/deli/bakery treasures.

The only thing I don't request suggestions/recs about is high end dining and bars/nightclubs. Not my thing at the moment.

Thank you so much for your help!

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  1. Welcome! You are moving to an area that I think has great food offerings... and very timely... I have had doctor's appointments in the area for the past month and these are the places I stopped by yesterday.
    Spicy BBQ (known for their Northern Thai but they have the usual suspects as well). Corner of Normandie & Santa Monica. Get the No Thai Larb and their serrano chile dip (if you can stand spicy) this is what I had for lunch yesterday.
    Sasoun Bakery (across Santa Monica from Spicy BBQ). Delicious Armenian items. Got an assortment of each yesterday and they are delicious: spicy cheese beorek, spinach beorek, maneishe (baked thin flatbread with herbs and spices (zaatar)), Lahmajine (same as the maneishe but with a meat mixture), tahini bread (sweet, crisp bread made from tahini). They also have other locations in Glendale, La Crescenta, Reseda and Van Nuys.
    I have also done Umami Burger which was good (the truffle fries are to die for!). Personally, I love La Parrilla which is south? west? on Sunset. Good Mexican food. Masa is delicious (same general area) - they have Chicago deep dish pizza (call and order in advance) and DON'T miss their croissant bread pudding.
    You have Sapp Coffee Shop for the Boat Noodles (Vietnamese), Jitlada (fantastic, spicy Thai). Guatamalteca for Guatemalan food. Ye Rustic Inn for hot wings, there are so many more. A lot of people have been talking about Wat Dong Moon Lek, but I have not been yet.

    Guatamalteca - 4770 Santa Monica Blvd. (1 block west of Vermont); LA, (323) 663-8307

    4 Replies
    1. re: WildSwede

      Sorry! I just realized my recs are about a 10-15 minute drive away from where you are. However, they are all good and worth trying!

      1. re: WildSwede

        I think I can handle 10-15 minutes :) Thanks for all the recs! You know, for hot wings, I really like the Hot Wings Cafe on Melrose. We used to pick these up on our way to the H-Bowl pre kids. That and a bottle of wine - we were super high class : )

        What I like about HWC is that they properly render the skin, so it's not rubbery, but crisp. And the "hot" which is really a medium is just the right spice level for me.

        Thanks again for the takeout suggestions.

        1. re: sasha1

          ;-) My current fave is Wing Stop. I used to eat at the Hot Wings when I worked in Glendale - it was on our usual lunch rotation. The one that is now closer to me is the Old Town Pasadena one, but I try to stay away from that mad house as much as possible!

          1. re: WildSwede

            Wings are so bad for you, and so so good. I could probably eat 20 at a time, but I know better.

      2. First of all, good bets for local, organic, grass fed meats and sustainable fish are the two
        farmers markets:

        Hollywood Farmers Market - Sunday 8am-1pm
        centered on Selma and Ivar (near Amoeba Records)

        West Hollywood Farmers Market - Monday 9am-2pm
        at Plummer Park - N Vista and Fountain Ave

        The Farmers Market at Third and Fairfax has two very good butchers, Marconda Meats and Huntington Meats, but I don't think they have much in the way of organic and sustainable meat.

        There also an artisinal butcher that opened a year ago on Fairfax:

        Lindy & Grundy's
        801 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

        I haven't been there, so I don't know what their organic / sustainable offerings are.

        For takeout/delivery, my favorite places when I lived near Sunset and Crescent a few years ago:

        Greenblatt's Delicatessen & Fine Wine Shop
        8017 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046
        - excellent pastrami and corned beef sandwiches

        2100 Laurel Canyon Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046
        - excellent pizza

        Vito's Pizza
        846 N La Cienega Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

        Pinches Tacos
        8200 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046
        - decent tacos. A little pricy but great location.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Peripatetic

          Thank you! Typically farmers markets are cash only, right? If I'm buying proteins there, I'll have to bring more cash than I usually do. Do you know if there are any groceries that sell the type of higher quality meat I'm seeking, at a discount (i.e., too old, gotta move it off the shelf)? Otherwise, my tastes are generally more expansive than my budget : ) Not an uncommon problem I imagine.

          1. re: sasha1

            Yes the Hollywood Farmers Market is cash only. It's great though and not just for produce, there's a good selection of meats, fish and bread.

            McCall's Meat and Fish is a really nice butcher shop with grass fed meat and sustainable fish but they aren't cheap. They are about 3 miles east of you on Hillhurst.

            Oaks Gourmet Shop on Fairfax has a nice selection of gourmet goods, craft beers and prepared foods. They supposedly make a great burger and they have themed nights (sausage, grilled cheese, pizza, soup) which are worth checking out especially the grilled cheese night.

            There's a Trader Joe's very close to you just off Vine.

            K&L Wines -- one of the best wine shops in the country -- has a location on Vine & De Longpre and is a good source of spirits and craft beer as well. They have great wine tastings on Saturdays (usually $20 for 10 1 oz pours).

            Los Balcones del Peru has great Peruvian (also Vine & De Longpre). It's mostly a sit down restaurant but you can order to go.

            There's a pizza place that's not bad nearby. I can't remember the name of it but it's on Yucca between Vine & La Cahuenga.

            Cactus Mexican Food on Vine is a pretty good taco stand.

            I don't know of anything like Bay Cities but there's a nice little Italian Deli on Vermont Avenue in Los Feliz called Rocco's. They close very early.

            I'll second the recommendations of Jitlada, Sapp's Coffee Shop and Guatemalteca. I've never had a meal at Guatemalteca but they have great pastries.

            1. re: bg90027

              re: jitlada
              it is fairly easy to rack up a $40/pp meal there.
              if you are on a budget, it is imperative that you tally up the prices BEFORE you order.
              great food, though.

            2. re: sasha1

              Thanks to the wonderful leap forwards in technology like the square, many of the more 'pricy' farmers market vendors take credit cards including most of the meat and seafood vendors.


              1. re: Dommy

                Yay! That is great news. Do you know if they do at either the Hollywood or W Hol farmer's markets?

                1. re: Dommy

                  Interesting. I've never seen any with either a sign saying they do or seen anyone pay with credit card. Do you know any of the ones at the Hollywood Farmer's Market that do? I've left without buying some things I really wanted before because I didn't have enough cash and was in too much of a hurry to hit an ATM.

                  1. re: bg90027

                    It's been a while since I've been to the HFM, so I can't tell you the exact vendors, but the vendors of my market (Mar Vista) that take credit cards are the Meat Guys (Dey Dey's ) Seafood Vendor (Smart Fish) and Cheese Guy (MIlk Man). Just ask.


            3. Not many organic items, but Jons Marketplace has a very good selection of Middle Eastern bakery items. Definitely more on the 'discount' side, so shop carefully. Several locations near you:

              The Fairfax-Pico/BH/West Hollywood triangle has quite a few kosher markets and bagel shops, perhaps someone more 'local' can elaborate on their favorites.

              Fairfax Ave south of Olympic is known as 'Little Ethiopia' with both vegan and meat-eating options.

              1 Reply
              1. re: DiveFan

                AND at least a few of the ethiopian restaurants on fairfax offer an AYCE weekday lunch special.

              2. Thank you everyone for the replies! Please keep them coming. I value the farmer's market as a great resource, but sometimes, I don't have the cash on hand to buy a whole lot there. What about quality stores where I can get bread, produce, and sometimes meat/fish other than those already mentioned.

                Is there a store that sells lots of stuff in bulk? Spices, beans, granola, grains and legumes, teas, etc?

                Who is known in these parts to make the best bread for sandwiches and as a side to soups/stews?

                5 Replies
                1. re: sasha1

                  You might want to check out Erewhon. It's vegetarian only, and no cheaper than Whole Foods, but they have good produce and bulk bins and the quality is probably a bit better than Whole Foods.

                  7660 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                  1. re: Peripatetic

                    I've never heard of this one before, so thank you for bringing a new place into my radar. I love being able to buy a fistful of bulgar or a couple of tablespoons of ground ginger, so this might be a good find for me.

                    1. re: Peripatetic

                      Actually, Erewhon sells prepared meat, fish and chicken in their deli case in front. The chicken is very good. I like Erewhon but would not say the quality is better than Whole Foods. The selection at Whole Foods is much larger too.

                      1. re: BSW6490

                        Oh, never noticed the case with the meat. Has that always been there? Since moving to Pasadena three years ago I haven't been back.

                        I agree that WF selection is better, but I find much of their produce is often wilted or otherwise unloved.

                    2. re: sasha1

                      Spice Station on Sunset in Silver Lake is a good place to buy spices. They'll make custom blends for you upon request too.

                    3. I live in this area & do most of my everyday grocery shopping at a combination of 1) Trader Joe's (@Santa Monica & Vista), 2) Fresh & Easy (@Hollywood Blvd. & Sycamore), 3) Target (@Santa Monica Blvd. & La Brea) and 4) Ralph's (which you've already noticed). I've been consistently impressed with the freshness & quality of the meats, chicken, etc. at Fresh & Easy, which does do markdowns as "sell by" dates approach, but also has good prices to begin with (IMO). If you're determined to stick with organic, grass-fed, etc., however, you won't find much there. Fresh & Easy also recently expanded its bakery department to include some freshly baked things, and these are also marked down with time. (I got a really tasty ciabatta for 99 cents last week.) I wouldn't buy fresh meats at TJ's (thanks to a couple of shaky experiences), but it's my go-to place for fruits, veggies & the like. I've also found some really nice fruit at Target since they started carrying groceries, and Ralph's often has good sale prices on fruits & veggies if you've got the discount card. I go to the nearby farm markets quite a bit, too, but like you am often limited by the cash-only policy! :( I should also mention that I've actually seen some decent produce -- some of it even organic -- at the 99-cent Store! There's one on La Brea close to Melrose. Good luck!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: katydid13

                        Thanks - I never had good luck with TJs for meats either. Tried and failed a couple of times. I'm pretty determined on the meats to be organic, sustainable, etc. I'd rather eat less of them than compromise on that.

                        Does anyone out there know the prices for this Lindy Grundy meat place? If it's a little boutique, I'm sure it's pricey. They don't list any prices on their site, naturally.

                        1. re: sasha1

                          Lindy and Grundy are not cheap. However, they source very local, buy from their own source. Lovely people. We've always gotten exceptional meat there, it's just not a habit we can keep up. Also, next door to them is a pub I love, The Fat Dog. Good food, great happy hour.

                      2. I haven't frequented that area in a while, but I always thought Hoy's Wok on the northwest corner of Sunset & La Brea (next to El Pollo Loco) to be a pretty decent Chinese place - won't blow you away but its good and close by you for that sort of thing. And of course, there's the In-N-Out at Sunset & Orange for a quick burger fix.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: HastaLaPasta

                          I totally noticed that. I love in and out.

                        2. In terms of restaurants close by, you're a stone's throw from Pink Pepper, which is decent Thai, and you're a short distance from Cafe Verona (2nd & La Brea), which has great salads, frittatas, pastas & the like. You're also within the delivery zone for Hollywood Pies (www.hollywoodpies.com), which has great Chicago-style deep-dish pizza (made to order, so you have to allow about 2hrs for delivery). You can get some real happy-hour food bargains at Bossa Nova on Sunset; I believe it's basically 2 apps for the price of one. And I haven't been there in a long time, but Cheebo on Sunset has a big menu that focuses on organic ingredients.

                          14 Replies
                          1. re: katydid13

                            Thank you! It seems like there is quite a high saturation of Thai restaurants in this area. I've been in a little WA town for a long while, and the only decent Asian here is Thai. So I was really hoping to find some Japanese and Chinese goodies nearby to satisfy my Asian food cravings...

                            1. re: katydid13

                              Did hollywood pies move again? i thought they were running things out of downtown now.

                              I'm not a fan of Pink Pepper but probably ok in a pinch cuz, hey, sometimes you just need some Thai food.

                              Within walking distance of the OP is Ikemen. Dip ramen is their thing but I rather like their light broth soup ramen too. It's really soothing and delicious on a cold evening.

                              For Indian in that area, I like Crown of India (Santa Monica nr Highland)

                              1. re: soniabegonia

                                I have never heard of dip ramen before - what is it? Back about 6 years ago when we lived in LA (westside) we used to go for ramen to the various places on Sawtelle. I love those, but they'll be too far for picking up dinner after work...

                                1. re: sasha1

                                  "Dip ramen", aka tsukemen, is a style of ramen where the noodles are served separate from the broth. You dip the noodles into the broth, and then eat, one mouthful at a time. Usually, the broth is made extra rich and flavorful (compared to a normal ramen broth), since the broth flavor you get is whatever is able to stick to the noodles.

                                    1. re: sasha1

                                      haha, noooo! It's not too bad! I think usually you have a soup spoon to help you too. It's great for hot summer days when you want the ramen but don't want a huge bowl of hot steam blowing in your face.

                                      1. re: sasha1

                                        Slurping ramen noodles is not for faint of heart nor silk of blouse... ;-D>

                                        1. re: sasha1

                                          Ah, and the other major plus for tsukemen - your noodles don't get soggy from the broth!

                                    2. re: soniabegonia

                                      As far as I know, Hollywood Pies hasn't moved again. They continue to deliver in the Hollywood/WeHo area, though.

                                      1. re: soniabegonia

                                        2d Ikemen
                                        Delicious ramen and/or tsukemen at anytime ;)

                                        1655 N La Brea Avenue @ Hollywood Blvd
                                        (323) 800-7669

                                      2. re: katydid13

                                        I've been here about a week, and am going through the recommendations. I just looked up the menu on hollywoodpies, and they apparently free deliver only when you buy a large or 2 smalls. It's just me, so how is their pizza re-heated?

                                        If I pickup, I assume I can just order 1 small? (probably too much for 1 anyhow...)

                                        1. re: sasha1

                                          It reheats well in a toaster oven. Just gotta go low & slow so it heats through and doesn't burn on the outside. Wrap in foil and put in the oven at ~275 for about 25-40 minutes, depending on the internal temperature. if you take a couple of slices out of the fridge an hour or so before reheating, it will be done sooner. I like to poke into the middle to make sure it's heated through. Then remove foil, crank up the heat to about 350 and put it back in for ~5 min to finish.

                                          alternatively, you can zap it in the microwave (1 piece at a time) for 45-60 seconds to get things going first, then finish in the oven. This method works quite well with no real ill effects to the crust. And sometimes you just don't want to wait that long.

                                          I've found that after reheating, it tends to get a bit drier than I'd like, so it's good to have some marinara sauce standing by.

                                          Yes, you can pick up1 small and that should be good for 3 meals, unless you happen to have an unusually healthy appetite.

                                            1. re: ebethsdad

                                              Thanks :)
                                              Everywhere I drive I pass cafes and restaurants that I've heard of, and it's been hard work to restrain myself, so I don't blow my entire salary on food.

                                        2. So there's not really anything like Bay Cities in mid-town? I guess I'll be making the trek over there with the other believers on Saturdays :)

                                          13 Replies
                                          1. re: sasha1

                                            While not Bay Cities this will not be a bad (closer) alternative: http://www.greenblattsdeli.com/

                                            And I note that Peripatetic had already listed them in their post above.

                                            1. re: Servorg

                                              I can certainly appreciate a good Jewish deli, but it isn't the same as an Italian sub, you know what I mean? What does Greenblatt's do best? How are their knishes? Smoked fish? Cabbage rolls?

                                              1. re: sasha1

                                                I've always liked their pastrami sandwich and their matzo ball soup has hit all of my spots in the past. Not at the level of Langer's or Brent's, but if I lived closer I would eat here a lot.

                                                  1. re: Peripatetic

                                                    It's All About the Bread makes a similar sandwich to Bay Cities and it is on Melrose just a little West of La Brea.

                                                    1. re: Adamlick

                                                      I saw this place driving around looking for apts. And their website looks nice, including, of course, some flowery testimonials. Or maybe I saw those on yelp. But I saw the fact that there was nearly no mention of the place on CH as a bit of a red flag. But you think the sandwiches are pretty good?

                                                      It is a restaurant only, right? No little grocery attached?

                                                      1. re: sasha1

                                                        I think the sandwiches are really good and you are correct, no grocery. I like their signature sandwich(turkey), but The Godfather is more in line with an Italian sub. Also, their bread is very similar to Bay Cities and I very rarely can eat a large by myself.

                                                        In addition, next door is M Cafe. If you like veggie burgers, theirs is fantastic.

                                                        I also highly recommend Tere's for Mexican on Melrose between Vine and Cahuenga. it is a little more expensive than most, but their pork chile verde burrito is ridiculous.

                                                        Lastly, I am not sure if anyone mentioned this but Oaks Gourmet on Franklin and Bronson is pretty good. They have a small market and I liked their short rib french onion dip, but apparently they have a really good cheeseburger also.

                                                        I hope that helps.

                                                        1. re: Adamlick

                                                          Thanks - good recs here. I love sandwiches of all kinds, including veggie and beef burgers (and burritos!). Looking forward to trying all this.

                                                          1. re: Adamlick

                                                            +1 for adamlick's recommendation of the M Cafe's veggie burger.

                                                    2. re: sasha1

                                                      Try Rocco's Market and Deli


                                                      It's about 3 miles east of where you'll be. They make their own roast beef, meatballs, sauces and soups in house. They have a pretty small menu but I think their sandwiches are pretty good.

                                                      1. re: bg90027

                                                        I will give it a go - thank you.

                                                    3. re: sasha1

                                                      try Tamarind Deli - http://tamarindavedeli.com/index.html
                                                      Delancey next door is a good casual neighborhood Italian
                                                      To answer your question upthread, dip ramen is a chewy thicker ramen served with a thicker, richer, saltier broth (compared to regular soup ramen) for dipping.

                                                    4. I can't tell you all how much I appreciate all the tips. I'll have lots of exploring to do once I get to LA in a few weeks.

                                                      I noticed that the responses are weighing heavily in the takeout/restaurant area. Does anyone have any other grocery shopping tips that haven't been mentioned? Again, I'm looking for great sources of (1) breads and baked goods (mostly savory) (2) produce and (3) meat/fish.


                                                      14 Replies
                                                      1. re: sasha1

                                                        For fish Tusquella's Seafood is in the 3rd and Fairfax Farmer's Market. They are not cheap, and I had a "fishy" fish experience with them once. If you don't mind driving over the hill Fish in the Village is a lovely kosher fish market/cafe with excellent prices and quality. It is located at Burbank and Whitsett. There is also The Fish King in Glendale which is pricier, but has a great selection. During Costco's seafood events they have excellent quality and prices, but you have to buy quantity. Finally last year Ralphs had a wild salmon loss leader during the summer. I normally never buy fish at Ralphs, but this was flown in fresh daily and the quality was top notch.

                                                        1. re: ebethsdad

                                                          I was at Fish King once (many many years ago) and I remember the selection being very small compared to Santa Monica Seafoods, where I shopped for fish when I was feeling flush.

                                                          I'm big on buying sale items anyhow, so that's a good tip. Otherwise I couldn't afford much of the stuff I like.

                                                          1. re: sasha1

                                                            When you get back to feeling flush, Fish King is the better bet over Santa Monica Seafood these days. SMSeafood is not what it used to be since the change in ownership.

                                                            1. re: Ogawak

                                                              How do price and quality/variety compare between Fish King and the fish vendors at Hollywood FM?

                                                              1. re: sasha1

                                                                Generally speaking (my experience is with the Studio City Farmers' Market) market vendors have better quality and higher prices. Don't get the wrong idea, The Fish King has great quality, but I haven't always found it as fresh as Farmers' Market people. Another option is to visit an Asian market such as 99 Ranch. Again you'll have to come over the hill, but the prices are unbeatable. You have to know fish as its a different scene, but I have picked up tremendous deals there. Korean markets are a bit pricier, not much, and generally have superb quality, for meat as well as fish.

                                                                1. re: sasha1

                                                                  It's a little hard to compare. I'm tempted to say that the quality/freshness is a little better at the farmer's market but I'm sure a big part of that is that they hold the farmer's market in the morning and I'm usually stopping by the Fish King early evening on my way home from work. I've never really tried to compare pricing. I know that the price of oysters, clams, mussels which you are buying directly from the farms is going to be better at the farmers market. The price of a piece of fish though is probably close to the same. All of the seafood vendors taken together at the opening of the farmers market might come close to approximating the selection at the Fish King but they sell out of things quickly. I don't really view them as substitutes for one another though. If I'm buying to cook Sunday night, I'll buy from the Farmer's Market. Otherwise, it's going to be from the Fish King or McCall's or Whole Foods.

                                                                  1. re: bg90027

                                                                    i get my fish from J&P West coast seafoods at the Sat market in Pasadena FM. it's not worth the drive if you have hollywood market on sundays but i digress...from J&P I get wild salmon for about $20/lb. at Fish King the same quality was $22/lb. i find both on par for quality. Maybe slightly better at the FM market. i'm very picky about fish as well. for the most part if i can't cut a piece and eat it raw then i don't buy it. after all the driving i did when i lived in hollywood i found the sunday market worked best for me. i supplemented with TJ's, WF and Erewhon. However, i haven't lived in Hollywood over 6 yrs so i'm much like you sasha1 in that things have probably changed that i'm not aware of. oh i would get things here and there from gelsons too. personally, i found shopping at the Original Farmers Market at Fairfax and 3rd disappointing. Better deals at Ralphs and easier time finding parking.

                                                                    1. re: trolley

                                                                      Having lived in a small town for the last 6 years, I know I will be annoyed at all the paid parking lots, even if some are validated with purchase.

                                                                      I should do a post on picks and pan at the permanent FM at Fairfax & 3rd. Unless someone's already done it...

                                                                        1. re: Peripatetic

                                                                          from the first thread everything sounds slightly lackluster. bob's donuts is always decent and loteria is ok. doesn't nancy silverton have a new burger place there? She uses Huntington Meats which is at the market as well. She has pretty good taste in food so that's probably says a lot about the butchers.

                                                                          you also have to put the place in perspective. i moved from san francisco and worked across the street from the ferry building/farmer's market. the place is fantastic. maybe slightly pretentious but cow girl creamery cheese on acme bread with sliced tomatoes from dirty girl produce for lunch was always excellent. then i move down the street from LA Farmers market and man i was really disappointed. but it is what it is and an icon in hollywood. a great place to get a table and spend a few hours eating and people watching...

                                                                          1. re: trolley

                                                                            When we lived in LA a while back, we only occasionally made it to the perm FM, as we were west-siders, and only then to eat at the restaurants. I've never purchased from any of the food grocers, so I wondered whether it would be a step above the big box store.

                                                                            1. re: trolley

                                                                              As much as I love it here comparing NorCal to SoCal as far as food is pointless. Like comparing France to Belgium. Belgium has great beer and moules frites. France has Provence, Normandy, the Dordogne, Burgundy, Alsace, the Loire valley...and Paris. That said I love the 3rd St Farmers' Market. M. Marcel has the best olives ever. The butchers are good, although Kerrytown Markets in Ann Arbor, MI puts them to shame, and parking is a lot cheaper. We have much better weather. So it goes. Welcome to the neighborhood.

                                                                              1. re: ebethsdad

                                                                                i'm not really comparing norcal to socal. nor do i dare compare NY to socal. i've given up on looking for my NY egg roll in LA a long time ago :) my point was to illustrate my experience at the time when i moved from SF to LA as sasha1 is moving from washington. i think it's normal to bring certain expectations. when people told me permanent farmer's market i thought of the ferry building. that's all.

                                                                            2. re: Peripatetic

                                                                              Are you aware of any threads that discuss the grocers, butchers, and bakers at the FM rather than the restaurants?

                                                            2. you've got a lot here already, but just thought i'd toss in some "somewhat close" bakery options -
                                                              Diamond Bakery on Fairfax for challah, corn rye, and other pastries
                                                              Stolichnaya next to Whole Foods on Santa Monica at Fairfax -- i have friends that swear by their Russian Rye - the service can leave something to be desired, but the elephant ears are also good :)

                                                              in terms of meat, i know that the stalls at the Original Farmers' Market (3rd/Fairfax) accept credit cards. i've bought whole roasting chickens at both places - Pioneer Poultry and the other one's name is escaping me... most stalls take cards there

                                                              big fan of Lindy and Grundy, but def call ahead to make sure they have or order what you want

                                                              for produce, i go to the kosher markets --- not really near you, but down at Pico/Robertson or Pico/Elm -- Elat and Glatt, respectively.

                                                              welcome back!

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: Emme

                                                                Thank you Emme. Is the permanent FM at Fairfax and 3rd a paid parking lot? I seem to remember it was free until they built the Grove, and then it all became paid. Is there any free with validation time?

                                                                1. re: Emme

                                                                  I second the Diamond Bakery, especially the challah (egg bread) and their corn rye--and you can get both at the bakery section of the Ralph's at Sunset and Fuller. And while you're their be sure to pick up a pint of any chip flavor of Graeter's Ice Cream. I've never had better, Yum!

                                                                2. This is out of your area, but I, like you, moved from an area (on the east coast) that had an awesome natural foods store and also a co-op. I have not yet found one store in LA that has as many bulk grains/beans as those did. Whole foods has some stuff, but not everything, and not as cheap.

                                                                  I just stumbled on this small store, Naturewell, on Sunset in Silver Lake that has a decent selection of bulk legumes, grains, pasta, granola, fruit, etc. It's not close, but also not that far either.


                                                                  As I live in Toluca Lake, I also go to Sprouts in Burbank for many of my bulk needs and also for sustainable meat.

                                                                  Also, sustainable and grass fed beef is more expensive here than other areas because of the geography and climate, making for smaller supply of locally raised meat . If you go north, there are more vendors, but non-locally raised meat adds cost due to transportation costs and also reduces the whole idea of sustainability. If you ever travel to northern California, you could consider buying in bulk (i.e. 1/4 of a cow) and stocking your freezer.

                                                                  I'm a Pollanite too, but the meat issue is very tough for me here. Love the produce, miss my local meat farmer.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: lindabethn

                                                                    Thanks for all of this. I used to live in LA, and I know that in the asphalt jungle, it's not like you see cows at pasture everywhere you go. So local is going to have to be local-ish. But I still want those cows to be treated nicely before slaughter and consumption, so I will stick with that but just have less of it to keep the cost down. Fortunately I love eggs, tofu, and beans, so I won't go protein hungry. I will check out Sprouts and Naturewell once I land and get my bearings.

                                                                  2. About 1.25 miles east of you is Tender Greens on Sunset just east of Vine (with several other locations in the LA area) which I like for delicious and healthy casual dining or easy takeout.

                                                                    Tender Greens’ website says that the majority of its produce comes fresh picked daily from Scarborough Farms in Oxnard; beef comes from grain-fed hormone/antibiotic free cows; chickens are raised on the range in Northern California, not in cages; and its tuna is line caught from the Pacific.

                                                                    Nice patio out back, too.

                                                                    6290 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, CA 90028
                                                                    (323) 382-0380
                                                                    Hours: Daily: 11:30 am to 10:00 pm

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: yinyangdi

                                                                      Welcome to my area! :)

                                                                      For produce, there's Jon's on Santa Monica blvd and Hobart. It's a huge store, filled with great produce, international foods, meat etc. One of my favorites, though it does tend to get crowded.

                                                                      Also for produce, besides the aforementioned Elat and Glatt Mart, there's Cochran produce on Fairfax between Rosewood and Clinton. Great prices, fresh produce. And on that same block younwill find Sami's grocery store, a small kosher, Israeli store that I frequent.

                                                                      Western Kosher on Fairfax between rosewood and Oakwood is a good kosher grocery store as well and they have their own butcher which I've heard is very good. I'm veg so can't vouch! :)

                                                                      Two great bakeries on Fairfax ad well, Schwartz between Oakwood and Rosewood and Eilat next to Out of the Closet on Fairfax and Oakwood. I'm partial to Schwartz's egg challah but both are good.

                                                                      1. re: Miri1

                                                                        Thank you - if you're a veg, you probably know your veggies! Most vegs I've met have enjoyed veggies, although I come across one now and again who doesn't like produce either, but exists on bread.

                                                                        Do your recs offer any organic versions? I typically don't buy all organic, but I will go organic for the so called "dirty dozen" if I'm in the store. Farmers I can talk to directly, I'll buy non organic. Many aren't certified because of the length and $ of the process, but they use organic methods...

                                                                    2. Just wanted to do a shout out thank you - people on these boards are wonderful and helpful. I have a feeling it will take me a while to sort through all the suggestions below, but I love to cook and eat, so it will happen!

                                                                      1. I live very close to where you signed your lease, a lot of people have named some great spots. There is an amazing Indian place just down the street on Sunset, by the Pinkberry. Gate of India is phenomenal.

                                                                        There's two Joe's Pizza, essentially equi-distance, on Hollywood Blvd and Wilcox and one off Sunset Blvd and a few blocks down from La Cienega.

                                                                        Ralph's has pretty good sandwiches for the dollar, for $7/8 you get a sandwich loaded with some good quality Boar's Head meat.

                                                                        El Compadre on Sunset has some good margaritas (in walking distance) and some decent Mexican food.

                                                                        Crazy Rock 'n Sushi is on La Brea and Santa Monica and has some pretty good prices throughout the day on rolls.

                                                                        Down past La Cienega on Sunset is Poquito Mas, which has excellent burritos.

                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                        1. re: thetek

                                                                          respectfully disagree about the Boar's Head meats.
                                                                          imho, "good quality Boar's Head meat" is an oxymoron.
                                                                          this is especially true using some of the criteria that the OP mentioned regarding meat.
                                                                          just my two cents.

                                                                          1. re: westsidegal

                                                                            What's your rec for deli meat? I do typically think of Boars Head as pretty good for grocery deli meat. It's no artisanally cured salami at a good italian grocer, but it's also a far cry from the JenniO and Primo whatever that the grocers are trying to pass off for $8-10 lb.

                                                                            Otoh, if BH is heavily processed CAFO and gynormous chicken house w/no air type of stuff, and I am blissfully ignorant, I probably want to know, and then patronize them less.

                                                                            1. re: sasha1

                                                                              "Otoh, if BH is heavily processed CAFO and gynormous chicken house w/no air type of stuff, and I am blissfully ignorant, I probably want to know, and then patronize them less."

                                                                              How much spare reading time do you have?


                                                                            2. re: westsidegal

                                                                              I don't claim Boar's Head as the best in the area, I'm just not hip to any deli's around other than Greenblatt's that has good sandwiches. I'd love to know of any other recommendations you have however.

                                                                          2. Don't know how I missed this thread, but you're just blocks from this longtime 'hound. Can't help with organic stuff, but a couple of new mentions and some seconds for restaurants and take-out and delivery.

                                                                            Pink Pepper is the better Thai delivery in the area, but it's pricey and slow; for faster and cheaper, Sunset Thai is reliable and has gotten better in quality recently.

                                                                            Hoy's Wok hasn't been good since the late 80s. Le Mandarette, on your block is my go-to for Chinese takeout/delivery. They're Singapore-inflected. I love their shrimp and scallop dishes: they source big, juicy ones. They also do a credible spicy sichuan dumpling appetizer, yum! Also love their spicy mustard greens w/tofu skin.

                                                                            In the same strip mall, Raffallo's is the best NON-NY style pizza in the area (but only that location, be careful when ordering by phone). They do a "medium" that's not too huge for one person (with a little leftover for breakfast.) Vito's and Joe's are great, but pricier and because of the thin crust they always arrive cold and need re-heating. Plus their pies are huge. DEFINITELY try a slice at Pizza Bella in the weird supermarket at Highland and Franklin. I know, I know... but it's seriously good pie. (Hellaciously slow delivery, though.)

                                                                            For Japanese/Korean, the recent addition of Soy Sauce Roll n' Bowl in the Pollo Loco mall is a boon. Cheap, friendly, fast delivery, great variety, decent fish. I love their chirashi bowl, spicy scallop bowl, and spicy pork bowl.

                                                                            Yes to Pinche's for burritos and tacos (which are, sadly, a little thin in this area).Definitely make regular visits down Sunset to Ricky's Fish Tacos!

                                                                            Yes to Gate of India over the others who will flyer you.

                                                                            For reasonably priced sushi we generally go to Shintaro on Franklin/Highland, or schlepp to Noshi Sushi on Beverly. For Italian, Trastavere at H&H is not bad, but that's also thin here. Marco's on Crescent Heights and Santa Monica is okay.

                                                                            I can't think of an Italian sandwich place anywhere close. Let us know if you find one.

                                                                            Oh, and if you loves a chili cheeseburger... Carney's on Sunset Strip.

                                                                            Welcome to the hood!

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: jesstifer

                                                                              Italian sandwich place: All About the Bread off Melrose and La Brea. It might not exactly be Bay Cities, but its close and pretty damn good.

                                                                              Its not really close, but if you're in the area, off of La Cienega and Venice Blvd at night (a little north at the car wash next to McDonalds during the day) is the El Gallito taco truck. Fantastic tacos and horchata!

                                                                              1. re: LuluTheMagnificent

                                                                                When I left LA about 6 years ago, Susina was all the rage. Is it still as well received now?